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Manatee County
PSN Registration
(941) 749-3500
Manatee County Emergency Management Division

Sarasota County
PSN Registration
(941) 861-5000
Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center

Special Needs Evacuees Checklist

People with Special Needs

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What is a PSN? / Are you a PSN?

As part of Manatee and Sarasota Counties’ disaster preparation, the respective Office of Emergency Management maintains a “People with Special Needs” Registration program designed for:

  • People who have physical or mental conditions or limitations such as having or being: visually or hearing impaired, wheelchair bound, or have respiratory problems
  • People who need help with daily living activities such as eating, bathing or mobility
  • People who are dependent on medications or medical treatment such as oxygen, electric life support or dialysis
  • People who are bedridden and require custodial care upon the advice of a personal physician if evacuated
  • People who need transportation to a shelter in case of a disaster because they may live alone or without support of family, friends or neighbors

How Do I Register as a PSN?

You must pre-register for a special needs evacuation center placement as soon as possible. Registration applications are reviewed and the applicant is assigned to adequate facilities that meet their medical needs or conditions including:

  • Red Cross shelters
  • Special Needs Shelter
  • Nursing homes or hospitals (as arranged in advance by your physician)

The counties’ Special Needs Shelters provides cots, meals, oxygen and volunteer medical personnel to assist with medication/oxygen administration, mobility and monitoring of stable medical conditions.

Registration does not guarantee assignment to a Special Needs shelter. The Special Needs program cannot provide 24-hour skilled care.

Those who require skilled medical care on a 24-hour basis should contact their medical professional to make arrangements if hospital or nursing home admission will be required.

If you, or someone you know, needs to be registered in the Special Needs Program, please call the Office of Emergency Management in the county where they reside and request a PSN registration packet.

  • Manatee County PSN Registration: 941-749-3500
  • Sarasota County PSN Registration: 941-861-5000


How Does the PSN Evacuation Work?

In case of a disaster, the Special Needs Program would provide or coordinate transportation, special evacuation assistance and placement in adequate shelters that meet the client’s medical needs or conditions.

People with Special Needs must be evacuated up to 24 hours prior to evacuation of the general public due to the limited resources at area hospitals, nursing homes, shelters and emergency personnel.

When a storm appears to be a threat to our area, a “first-call-out message”, either by computer or county/town personnel, will be delivered from 36 to 48 hours before expected landfall. This message advises the Special Needs client that there is a threat they should be aware of. The message may also include information on initial preparation procedures for evacuation.

If it appears likely that our area will be impacted by the event, the Special Needs client will receive a second call updating the situation and advising what actions should be taken and when. If transportation is required, the caller will give an approximate time for pick up. The client and any caregiver who will assist, must be ready to go when the transportation arrives.

When an evacuation is ordered, both counties send out vans, school buses with wheelchair lifts, handi-buses and ambulances to take registered Special Needs clients to their pre-determined destination: a Red Cross shelter, Special Needs Shelter, nursing home or hospital (with pre-arrangements completed by your doctor) only. We cannot evacuate to hotels, motels, friends or relatives homes. Use private transportation if this is your desired destination.

Be Prepared!

You should take everything you will need for 72 hours with you. Print out the “Special Needs Evacuees Checklist” by clicking on the form request below. Review this checklist early in the season and be sure to make arrangements as suggested in the event that you must evacuate.

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